Updated: Jan 31
Despite being a rural community, Blawenburg had both train and bus service to get to nearby cities in the early 1900s. But this wasn’t the first travel service in Blawenburg. Over 200 years ago, the Georgetown-Franklin Turnpike (Route 518) was improved so stagecoach travel between New York and Philadelphia would be easier. Because of this stagecoach route, the village of Blawenburg emerged to provide a tavern/stagecoach stop, store, and blacksmith shop for travelers.
As trains became popular in the late 1800s, the Reading Railroad built a corridor through Montgomery Township. In the early 1900s, the train service was used for freight as well as passenger travel. There was a train station near Camp Meeting Road in Skillman with a walkway from Blawenburg to make travel easier. In the 1920s, local residents like Tom Skillman and Ed Terhune traveled on the Reading to Bound Brook to attend high school.
In April, 1928, the Reading Railroad started a motorcoach (bus) service between New York and Philadelphia that included stops a Stryker’s store in Blawenburg. By 1955, the Reading Railroad sold off its bus service, and it is not clear when service ended in Blawenburg.
The old Reading line is still in place today, but it is reduced to a single railway instead of the four sets of tracks that were used in its heyday.
Ken Chrusz for the information and graphics in this blog. Thanks Ken!